AIDS in South Africa

South Africa has more people living with AIDS than any other country in the world. By the end of 2010, there were five and a half million people living with HIV in South Africa, and almost 1,000 AIDS deaths occurring every day. 


A survey published found that South Africans spent more time at funerals than they did having their hair cut, shopping or having barbecues. It also found that more than twice as many people had been to a funeral in the past month than had been to a wedding.


Go to the website below. Scroll down to the two tables called:

  • Estimated HIV prevalence among South Africans, by age and sex
  • Reported deaths from all causes, 1997 to 2008



1 Understanding the tables
a) Using the information in the tables, mark the following statements as true or false.

• More women than men have AIDS.
• AIDS is more common among people under 30 than over 30.
• The greatest increase in people dying of AIDS is in the age-group 0-9 years old.
• About 4 times more 25-49 year olds than 0-9 year olds died of AIDs in 2008.
• One year, the number of people dying of AIDS decreased.
• The greatest increase in the number of people dying between 1997 and 2008 is in the 50+ age group.

b) Use the information in the second table to draw a graph showing how the number of deaths has increased between 1997 and 2008.

2 Talking
a) Look at the first table. Why do you think the percentage of people living with AIDS decreases among those over 30 years old?
b) Why do you think a percentage of children under the age of 15 have AIDS?
c) Why do you think more women than men have AIDS?
d) As you can see in the second table, the number of deaths from AIDS has exploded. From your own background knowledge, what can be done to stop the spread of AIDS?

3 Writing
Choose either the first or the second table. Write 4-5 lines explaining what the table is about, what information is there, and what conclusions can be drawn from it.